Tampa, Fla. - Sub-zero temperatures are making life difficult for people throughout the country. Although you may be concentrated on making sure your fingers and toes don't freeze right now, it is also important to make sure your plumbing doesn't freeze.
A frozen pipe can lead to a pipe burst, which can lead to more than $5,000 in water damage. Despite the current cold temperatures, there are still some last-minute actions you can take to reduce your risks of costly damage.
First, find out the truth about frozen pipes below, and then reduce your risks using frozen pipe resources provided by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).
FROZEN PIPE MYTHS
1. Only A Plumber Can Prevent Frozen Pipes
Not true. There are many things that you can do yourself to prevent your pipes from freezing, including sealing windows and doors, adding extra insulation, or use heat trace tape around various piping. Find more details at http://www.disastersafety.org/freezing_weather/prevent-frozen-pipes/.
2. Your Risks Go Away When Temperatures Begin To Warm
Actually, signs of a pipe burst are often only seen when temperatures begin to warm. When a pipe freezes the frozen water may act as a plug, allowing any problems to go unnoticed. Before checking to see if you have any issues when temperatures increase, shut off the water supply to reduce your water damage risks. 3. All Frozen Pipes Burst
A pipe can freeze and not burst. However, a frozen pipe leads to a pipe burst, which can cause more than $5,000 in water damage. Prevent a pipe from bursting by not letting them freeze. Use guidance available at http://www.disastersafety.org/freezing_weather/prevent-frozen-pipes/.
4. A Propane Torch Can Be Used To Thaw Pipes
Don't even think about it! You may think it will thaw the pipes and prevent significant damage, but you are only increasing your risk of fire damage.
IBHS is a leading national expert on preparing for, and repairing and rebuilding structures after, a catastrophe to make them more disaster-resistant.
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About the IBHS
- IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research and communications organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks on residential and commercial property by conducting building science research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparedness practices.